Friendship is about quality, not quantity

Will Featherston, Columnist

Very little is as exciting and terrifying as making new friends. New friends mean new experiences, new viewpoints and new things to talk about. A new friend provides the opportunity to add more to life. A new friend is not made at the expense of old friends. There are many benefits to making new friends.

And in spite of all of this, I don’t really like making new friends.

I give a lot of weight to the word “friend.” I consider most people I know as either close acquaintances or colleagues. I would not say I have many friends, but only because I consider friends as those who I genuinely want to spend most of my time with (even as an introvert) and who I’ve established a mutual, deep connection with. Making these kinds of friendships is hard and sometimes exhausting but worth it in the end.

Of my approximately 400 person graduating class, three of us, myself included, chose Samford. I knew the other two but none of us were really friends. Essentially, I came here knowing nobody, and it honestly didn’t help that I made very little effort to reach out to the university before I showed up for the first day of band camp. Not having any friends starting out is scary, but I also knew that I was not going to make a mad dash to befriend as many people at once to avoid loneliness.

It is almost as if there is a literal mad dash to make friends at the beginning of freshman year. I assume, but only because that is what I’ve experienced and heard, that most people show up to Samford knowing very little people. It is almost as if there is a unique culture among incoming students to collect as many new friends as possible. I can only speculate as to why this is, but given my experiences, I would say that it comes out of a fear of ending up with no friends. Inorganic friendships are made as if they are pacts to avoid loneliness.

I still know and speak with most of the people I met in my first couple of weeks at Samford. However, my friends, the people I choose to spend my time with and the people I trust, are not those people I initially met.

My friends are people that I ended up being around all the time because of similar interests, classes, and areas of involvement. They are people I naturally gravitated towards, not people I was put in a group with before school even began and expected to make friends with. They are the people I hang out with for fun and fall back on for help.

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